MINNEAPOLIS — Spring is a big time for new jobs with college grads looking for their first jobs and others looking for a change, but with computers now running the show, how do you know your resume is actually getting through?
Mike Lang with CareerForce says employers use resume filters, or Applicant Tracking Systems, to sift through hundreds of resumes without ever having to read them.
A computer program looks for things like buzzwords, phrases and years of experience, then tosses away the applications that don't fit.
It saves companies a lot of time and money, but the problem is the right person for the job sometimes falls through the cracks.
"The biggest advice we give to people is when you're applying for a job is to make sure you're speaking the same language as the job," Lang says.
For example, take our current opening at KARE-11 for a Multi Media Journalist.
The job description has buzzwords like "storyteller" "digital" "writing" and "photography.” Lang says anyone who’s applying for that job should use those same exact words to describe their qualifications.
"They're usually looking for specific keywords that the employer wants to see in a resume," Lang says.
Gone are the days of just one resume Lang says. Now you need one for every job you apply for.
"You can create a “master resume” and then just fine tune it for each job. That will save you some time at least,” Lang says.
And how you lay out your resume is important. The experience that's most relevant to that job should be at the top, not buried at the bottom, because some filters might toss out your resume before it even gets that far.
"Targeting your resume is very important," Lang says.
But arguably the best way to escape those resume filters is a personal connection with the company.
"Networking is a great way to overcome those filters,” Lang says.
That way even if the computer filters you out, a real person can put you back in the running if they think you're right for the job.
If you want a little help with your resume you can hire a resume writer to help you out.
Several companies and apps offer them for a fee.
Or you can visit one of the CareerForce centers in the Twin Cities and get a free resume tune up.